In response to the UK lockdown in March 2020, firm friends and St Leonards locals, Bev Francis and Susan Simms, decided to cheer themselves up by starting a Facebook group about getting dressed up on a Friday. Within two weeks there were 13,000 active people in the group. Frock Up Friday now boasts a worldwide community of thousands and has been described by many as the most positive group on the internet and has continued to support people all over the world in this strange time. 

“Frock Up Friday is one of the most wonderful and uplifting ideas to emerge out of #lockdown. With no place to go, why shouldn’t we get all dressed up anyway? It’s a form of self-care. This initiative has created an entirely positive community that has supported each other through the darkest and scariest times, forging relationships online that will certainly last in ‘the new normal’. There’s never been a better excuse to get your glad-rags on than Frock Up Friday – and three cheers for everyone who brightened Friday for so many others.” – Jo Fairley, Co-founder Green & Black’s, The Beauty Bible and author of The Perfume Society.  

Bev and Susan decided that the images and stories from the Facebook page should be commemorated in a book: a beautiful collection of photos, taken by ordinary people of themselves. These images capture their pandemic stories, ranging from the funny side of life to the poignant, the engagements, weddings, births, and graduations that had to change because of the isolation restrictions. 

When it is safe to do so, the team are very keen to get members of the group to come and visit Hastings & St Leonards, where Frock Up first started. A programme of exciting, socially-distanced, events throughout Hastings & St Leonards, including an opportunity to “Meet The Frockers”, will be on offer as well as the opportunity to follow a frocking trail, collecting stamps in your very own Frock Up Friday pass card as you go. Event details will be announced in due course. 

Meanwhile, the Frock Up Friday group continues to function on the Facebook page. This week’s theme is ‘sparkle’, to celebrate the publishing of the book; pick up a copy, get involved! [email protected]

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